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EcmaScript, ECMAScript, or JavaScript ?

 
 
Conrad Lender
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      10-07-2008
On 2008-10-07 21:15, Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn wrote:
> Conrad Lender wrote:
>> Agree about that. JavaScript is what it's generally know as, and the
>> distinction between the language standard and the names of the various
>> implementations is less important than letting people know what we're
>> talking about.

>
> Non sequitur. Those differences have become one important
> reason why we are discussing here in the first place.


I'm getting a little tired of your "non sequitur" remarks, and I'm
beginning to wonder if you even know what it means. We're having
discussions here, we're not engaged in formal logical disputes. But if
you want it formally:

premise A) Most people know this language group only as "JavaScript".
premise B) Non-experts have no clear idea of what ECMAScript is.
premise C) The FAQ is intended for non-experts.

hypothesis: Letting non-experts know we're talking about what they call
JavaScript is more important than only talking about ECMAScript all the
time.

corollary 1: ... escpecially when _we_ _ourselves_ are so inconsistent
with our use of "JavaScript".
corollary 2: ... escpecially when the FAQ deals mostly with problems
that are beyond the scope of ECMAScript.
corollary 3: Defining the terms in the FAQ is still a Good Thing.

When you say "non sequitur", you're supposed to state *why* the
hypothesis doesn't follow from the premises. If you fail to prove that,
your "non sequitur" is void (i.e. almost every time you use it). You're
free to argue against any of the premises, just don't claim "non
sequitur" then. I even invite you to tell me why you think that my
reasoning is faulty (as it may well be), I only object to your naming of
logical fallacies as a substitute for an argument.


- Conrad

PS:
I know I shouldn't rise to flamebait like that, but you're overdoing it.
 
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Dr J R Stockton
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      10-07-2008
On Oct 7, 8:11*pm, Conrad Lender <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On 2008-10-07 18:35, Dr J R Stockton wrote:
>
> > One should be guided firstly by what ISO/IEC 16262 uses internally,
> > secondarily by what ECMA 262 uses internally,

>
> Is there any difference between the two? I've never bothered with the
> ISO specs, because I consider ECMA-262 to be normative, and because ISO
> usually charges quite a bit for a copy of their specs.


For the casual reader, IMHO, ISO uses a nicer font. For the
programmer, ISO has has some at least of the ECMA bugs fixed. For the
present purpose, the "auxiliary" text differs between the two, and is
as much a source of guidance as the core text.

> > thirdly by what Wikipedia uses (because inappropriate notation will
> > have been changed there); but in the case of single-source products
> > use what the source uses.

>
> Wikipedia? As useful as it can be at times, I would very much ignore
> what Wikipedia has to say about this topic. They're not an authority.


Wikipedia technical articles are usually thoughtfully written and
edited, with discussion. In such matters, they are more likely to be
right than is any one person here, and approximately as likely to be
right as is a consensus here. Therefore they are worth considering,
as a respectable opinion. I would *NOT* have recommended Wikicodia.


Re another article in the thread - It might be well, or polite, to put
in the FAQ a trademark, registered, or similar character against the
first use of certain terms; but only if the marking, registration,
etc., is known to be substantially international in scope.


Off-topic warning : I've noticed a Web-Mailer which, at least in its
display, apparently treats characters < > and maybe & as HTML does.
They should of course be sent to the browser as &lt; &gt; &amp;, as is
necessary in my Code Boxes.

Consider the effect of sending, in mail,
"Remember, <!-- starts HTML comment, which is closed by -->."
(I know that's a simplification) or "In an <H2> header, ...".

--
(c) John Stockton, near London, UK. Posting with Google.
Mail: J.R.""""""""@physics.org or (better) via Home Page at
Web: <URL:http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/>
FAQish topics, acronyms, links, etc.; Date, Delphi, JavaScript, ....|
 
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Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn
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      10-07-2008
Conrad Lender wrote:
> On 2008-10-07 21:15, Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn wrote:
>> Conrad Lender wrote:
>>> Agree about that. JavaScript is what it's generally know as, and the
>>> distinction between the language standard and the names of the
>>> various implementations is less important than letting people know
>>> what we're talking about.

>> Non sequitur. Those differences have become one important reason why
>> we are discussing here in the first place.

>
> I'm getting a little tired of your "non sequitur" remarks, and I'm
> beginning to wonder if you even know what it means.


Yes, I do know what it means.

> We're having discussions here, we're not engaged in formal logical
> disputes.


If you are making an argument in favor of or against something, it should be
a convincing one or it is a waste of everybody's time. The least criterium
that it has to fulfill to have a chance to be convincing to anyone
reasonable is conclusiveness, i.e. it must not be fallacious. That is not
quibbling about meaning or opinion, it is a requirement for any fruitful
discussion. The Ancients (most notably Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle)
understood that well; you would be wise to follow their teachings.

> But if you want it formally:
>
> premise A) Most people know this language group only as "JavaScript".
> premise B) Non-experts have no clear idea of what ECMAScript is.
> premise C) The FAQ is intended for non-experts.


Non-experts are supposed to read the FAQ before the post to the newsgroup,
or they are directed to the FAQ after they posted to the newsgroup. In any
case, it is unwise at best to remove terms that are used in the newsgroup
from the FAQ, or use them in an inappropriate way.

> hypothesis: Letting non-experts know we're talking about what they call
> JavaScript is more important than only talking about ECMAScript all the
> time.


Non sequitur: (a colon instead of a dot now, so that you might see the
position of the reasoning better) Nobody said that we should only talk
about ECMAScript. However, calling something JavaScript (in whatever case)
when it is not only JavaScript or may not be a feature in this language
implementation at all, or not calling it ECMAScript when we are referring to
specified behavior, is *wrong*. Again, the differences between them do
matter in code, no matter the coder's experience.

> corollary 1: ... escpecially when _we_ _ourselves_ are so inconsistent
> with our use of "JavaScript". corollary 2: ... escpecially when the FAQ
> deals mostly with problems that are beyond the scope of ECMAScript.
> corollary 3: Defining the terms in the FAQ is still a Good Thing.
>
> When you say "non sequitur", you're supposed to state *why* the
> hypothesis doesn't follow from the premises.


I did, in the sentence that followed. You just "overlooked" that and added
another fallacy. Maybe you thought that trimming the relevant quotation
would help that others would overlook that flaw, too.

> If you fail to prove that, your "non sequitur" is void (i.e. almost every
> time you use it). You're free to argue against any of the premises, just
> don't claim "non sequitur" then. I even invite you to tell me why you
> think that my reasoning is faulty (as it may well be), I only object to
> your naming of logical fallacies as a substitute for an argument.


It is not my problem if you are not only unable to provide a single
conclusive argument in your posting, but also provide at least one
inconclusive argument, repeatedly.

If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.


PointedEars
--
var bugRiddenCrashPronePieceOfJunk = (
navigator.userAgent.indexOf('MSIE 5') != -1
&& navigator.userAgent.indexOf('Mac') != -1
) // Plone, register_function.js:16
 
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Conrad Lender
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Posts: n/a
 
      10-07-2008
On 2008-10-07 23:05, Dr J R Stockton wrote:
> On Oct 7, 8:11 pm, Conrad Lender <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>On 2008-10-07 18:35, Dr J R Stockton wrote:
>>>One should be guided firstly by what ISO/IEC 16262 uses internally,
>>>secondarily by what ECMA 262 uses internally,

>>Is there any difference between the two? I've never bothered with the
>>ISO specs, because I consider ECMA-262 to be normative, and because ISO
>>usually charges quite a bit for a copy of their specs.

>
> For the casual reader, IMHO, ISO uses a nicer font. For the
> programmer, ISO has has some at least of the ECMA bugs fixed. For the
> present purpose, the "auxiliary" text differs between the two, and is
> as much a source of guidance as the core text.


Thank you. Apart from the nicer font, would those "bug fixes" be the
ECMA-262 errata, or did they change the language in any way, to remove
what they considered bugs? And what do the "auxiliary" texts contain? I
still balk at paying CHF 230,- for something that should be free and
open and accessible to all; but I would very much like to know if
they've added anything substantial to the specification.

>> Wikipedia? As useful as it can be at times, I would very much ignore
>> what Wikipedia has to say about this topic. They're not an authority.

>
> Wikipedia technical articles are usually thoughtfully written and
> edited, with discussion. In such matters, they are more likely to be
> right than is any one person here, and approximately as likely to be
> right as is a consensus here. Therefore they are worth considering,
> as a respectable opinion.


Good point about the consensus, at least they have a process for such
decisions. And I agree that the technical articles are usually of a
pretty high quality. But the FAQ is specifically for this group, and if
a sort of consensus could be reached here, it would trump the Wiki article.

Talking about the FAQ, I would just like to mention that I think that
Garrett is doing a great job, and putting a lot of effort into it.
Thanks.

> I would *NOT* have recommended Wikicodia.


Never even heard of that one. www.wikicodia.org shows something about a
"FaviGame" whatever that is, and www.wikicodia.com is just a squatter?

> Off-topic warning : I've noticed a Web-Mailer which, at least in its
> display, apparently treats characters < > and maybe & as HTML does.
> They should of course be sent to the browser as &lt; &gt; &amp;, as is
> necessary in my Code Boxes.


Sorry, I lost you there. Was that a remark on the formatting of my post?
I've been using aioe.org since my usual provider has been unreachable
all day. Still it should be all plain-text (I hope).


- Conrad
 
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Richard Cornford
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      10-07-2008
Conrad Lender wrote:
On 2008-10-07 19:25, Richard Cornford wrote:
>>> Technically, 'ECMAScript' is more official, though it's a
>>> little easier to read and type camel case than all-caps.

>>
>> Typing ease is hardly an excuse, but use "javascript" (capitalised
>> if it appears at the beginning of a sentence) and it is likely that
>> readers will sufficiently understand what is being referred to.
>>
>>> What do you want in the FAQ: JavaScript, EcmaScript,
>>> or ECMAScript?

>>
>> Javascript.


> With all due respect, but if "JavaScript" is a trademark, then
> "Javascript" is protected as well


Your point being? (Given that I am not proposing not using "JavaScript"
because it is a trademark name but rather using it only to identify the
implementation to which the trademark name belongs.)

<snip>
> My point is that it would be unwise to make an important
> distinction between JavaScript, Javascript, and javascript,
> just based on the capitalization.

<snip>

The distinction (between specific implementations, implementations in
general and the specification that is implemented (and extended by
implementations)) is necessary/useful, and no better alternative has
been suggested. While employing the capitalisation to suggest the
distinction has been employed extensively for a long time, on this group
if perhaps not that widely elsewhere.

> That would be extremely confusing, especially for
> newcomers.


No it would not. Newcomers don't tend to appreciate the distinction at
all and so would read "javascript" as having exactly the same meaning as
"JavaScript", so using the former cannot increase confusion. Later,
understanding more, re-reading would reveal only increased meaning. The
difference between not making a distinction and not seeing a distinction
is negligible, but making the distinction allows for the possibility
that the distinction will be seen.

> Writing it all-lowercase, as you suggested, would not help
> the situation -


Except that it already does.

> all languages that I can think of are proper nouns and
> written with capital initial letters; making "javascript" the
> only exception would only cause more confusion.


How?

> Like it or not, JavaScript has become a pars pro toto expression;
> in technical discussions we will keep the distinction between
> standard and implementations, but in practical usage (and even
> in this group) "JavaScript" is almost generally used as "all
> languages/implementations derived from ECMAScript" (there are
> a few exceptions, such as "ActionScript").


That is certainly not true of this group.

> One way to make the distinction clearer in the FAQ would be to
> use JavaScript® and JScript® for trademarked names.


It would be problematic to use the symbols given the simulations
delivery of the content (derived from an XML source) as HTML and plain
text (though not insurmountable).

> At the very least the FAQ could (should) mention which names
> are trademarked.


I don't see that as adding anything useful, given that it already states
what JavaScript, JScript and ECMAScript are.

Richard.

 
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Richard Cornford
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      10-07-2008
Conrad Lender wrote:
> On 2008-10-07 23:05, Dr J R Stockton wrote:

<snip
>> For the casual reader, IMHO, ISO uses a nicer font.
>> For the programmer, ISO has has some at least of the ECMA
>> bugs fixed. For the present purpose, the "auxiliary" text
>> differs between the two, and is as much a source of guidance
>> as the core text.

>
> Thank you. Apart from the nicer font, would those "bug fixes"
> be the ECMA-262 errata, or did they change the language in any
> way, to remove what they considered bugs?


One of the - for - statement algorithms in ECMA 262 3rd Ed. is obviously
wrong (section 12.6.3, second algorithm, step 7 (should go to step 17
instead of 14)). That has been corrected in the ISO version, but the
original was sufficiently obviously wrong that it was never implemented
in that way so the correction fixes a bug in the original specification
and nothing else. Apart form that the ISO version has a few minor
modifications to a very few algorithms along the lines of splitting a
single step up into 2 where previously two actions were specified in the
single step.

> And what do the "auxiliary" texts contain? I still balk at
> paying CHF 230,- for something that should be free and
> open and accessible to all;


Ironically the print/binding quality of ISO specifications is very poor,
so if you are going to pay form one get it in electronic form and print
your own, then you will be able to print another when the first falls
apart.

> but I would very much like to know if
> they've added anything substantial to the specification.

<snip>

Nothing.

Richard.

 
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John W Kennedy
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      10-08-2008
Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn wrote:
> criterium


That's "criterion". It's Greek, not Latin.


--
John W. Kennedy
"...when you're trying to build a house of cards, the last thing you
should do is blow hard and wave your hands like a madman."
-- Rupert Goodwins
 
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dhtml
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      10-08-2008
Richard Cornford wrote:
> On Oct 7, 3:04 am, dhtml wrote:
>> I made a change to the FAQ of javascript to EcmaScript.

>
> And how is that supposed to help?
>
>> I got some feedback that the newsgroup is CLJ and the
>> language is commonly referred to as JavaScript. Therefore,
>> the word in the FAQ should be JavaScript.

>
> Absolutely not. It is necessarily to be able to differentiate between
> the ECMAScript implementation that has a name with that trademark
> capitalisation and the general category of ECMAScript implementations.


That's why I made the change. It sounds like you opine that by not
camel-casing, the distinction will be clear that "javascript" is a
non-proper noun, used in the general sense, and "JavaScript" means
Mozilla's implementation. Is this what you meant?

> As the latter is called "javascript" (with or without capitalisation)
> but the former is named "JavaScript" (with the specific
> capitalisation) it makes most sense to differentiate between the two
> by employing alternative capitalisation. This has been discussed
> before (and at length) and the wording employed in the FAQ represented
> the consensus at the time.
>


I don't know that the latter (EMCAScript in general) is more commonly
written "javascript" than "JavaScript". It's not pronounced any
differently. I think at work, it's always called "JavaScript". I never
had anybody ask me if I "Checked that ecmascript file in?" From what I
notice, it's written capitalized and camel cased.

>> So I'm asking: what should I use in the FAQ?

>
> No.


What do you mean "No"?

>
>> Technically, 'JavaScript' is Mozilla's implementation of
>> Ecma-262.

>
> And a Trademark name, as is "JScript".
>
>> So - JavaScript or ECMAScript.

>
> Neither.
>
>> The second question is: where ECMAScript is used, should it be
>> 'ECMAScript' or 'EcmaScript'?

>
> ECMAScript.
>
>> Brendan always calls it "Ecma" and "Ecma TC3". Others do, too.

>
> Always? URL (or any evidence substantiating that claim)?
>


I can't find any more links at the moment.

https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/e...st/006837.html
http://ajaxian.com/archives/brendan-...ure-of-the-web



>> Technically, 'ECMAScript' is more official, though it's a
>> little easier to read and type camel case than all-caps.

>
> Typing ease is hardly an excuse, but use "javascript" (capitalised if
> it appears at the beginning of a sentence) and it is likely that
> readers will sufficiently understand what is being referred to.


It's still easier to read.

>
>> What do you want in the FAQ: JavaScript, EcmaScript,
>> or ECMAScript?

>
> Javascript.


There still is not a strong consensus on what should be used throughout.

"EcmaScript" should be changed to "ECMAScript", if used.


>
> Richard.

 
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dhtml
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      10-08-2008
Conrad Lender wrote:
> On 2008-10-07 21:15, Thomas 'PointedEars' Lahn wrote:
>> Conrad Lender wrote:
>>> Agree about that. JavaScript is what it's generally know as, and the
>>> distinction between the language standard and the names of the various
>>> implementations is less important than letting people know what we're
>>> talking about.



>
> premise A) Most people know this language group only as "JavaScript".
> premise B) Non-experts have no clear idea of what ECMAScript is.
> premise C) The FAQ is intended for non-experts.
>
> hypothesis: Letting non-experts know we're talking about what they call
> JavaScript is more important than only talking about ECMAScript all the
> time.
>
> corollary 1: ... escpecially when _we_ _ourselves_ are so inconsistent
> with our use of "JavaScript".
> corollary 2: ... escpecially when the FAQ deals mostly with problems
> that are beyond the scope of ECMAScript.
> corollary 3: Defining the terms in the FAQ is still a Good Thing.
>


It might be useful to have an explanation for JavaScript meaning one of
two things:
1) Loosely, ECMAScript and browser scripting
2) Mozilla's implementation of ECMAScript


>
>
> - Conrad


 
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RobG
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      10-08-2008
On Oct 8, 12:46*pm, dhtml <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Richard Cornford wrote:
> > On Oct 7, 3:04 am, dhtml wrote:

[...]
> >> What do you want in the FAQ: JavaScript, EcmaScript,
> >> or ECMAScript?

>
> > Javascript.

>
> There still is not a strong consensus on what should be used throughout.


I think the consensus is pretty strong that ECMAScript should only be
used when referring specifically to the standard, otherwise use
javascript (or Javascript at the begining of sentences). When
referring to specific implementations, make it clear such as
"Mozilla's JavaScript" or "Opera's JavasScript" so there is no doubt.

Including the name of the implementation itself is probably only
useful for JScript.


> "EcmaScript" should be changed to "ECMAScript", if used.


Yes.

FAQ 2.5 does a reasonable job of describing ECMAScript and ECMA 262
(though I would move the link to the PDF to the bottom of the entry).
Why not use ECMA-262 to make it clear that the reference is to the
specification and not the language in general? It should also be
possible to link to FAQ 2.5 wherever ECMA-262 is used.

e.g. FAQ 4.2 could read:

"ECMA-262 specifies that numbers are represented..."


--
Rob
 
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